I prefer not to have dinner with an ill-mannered slob. If you are looking for 7 ways to improve your table manners, then the list below should help you immensely. I’ve tried to include a few pointers here and there to help you out. I hope you can find something useful!
7. Practice Your Manners in the Comfort of Your Own Home
When your table manners become more of a habit and less of a conscious effort, you’ll feel a lot more at ease when having dinner with people you barely know. Practice good table manners at home so you can refine them.
6. Look up Etiquette Guidelines and Study Them
There are certain ways to hold a fork and knife that is considered to be more proper than others. Napkin placement, where to keep your elbows, and what to do with your silverware after eating are some examples of what is discussed in articles and books about table etiquette.
5. Video Tape Yourself Eating
You don’t know what you look like to others when you are eating, so why not find out? You’ll be more conscious of your table manners when the meal first begins, but hopefully you’ll continue to act the way you normally do after a while. Play the video for your friends and see what they think.
4. Get Advice from Someone You Know to Have Excellent Table Manners
Asking for advice is helpful, but sometimes it’s more beneficial to observe your friend in action. Go out to dinner with him/her and keep your eyes open. If you notice a particular behavior that you don’t understand, ask questions. It never hurts to ask!
3. Be Mindful of Your Posture
It’s amazing at how much a person’s posture can affect surrounding people. Don’t slouch, keep your elbows off of the table, don’t hover over your plate and shovel food in, keep your empty hand in your lap, and keep your feet flat on the ground. These are just a few tips on how to have better posture at the dinner table.
2. Pace Yourself and Try Not to Focus Only on Eating
When you are only thinking about how good the food will taste and try to eat it as fast as you can, you are likely to make a few faux pas at the table. Don’t eat corn on the cob in the ‘typewriter’ fashion; as seen in the cartoons. Don’t be in such a hurry that you shove hot food into your mouth and instantly spit it back onto the plate. Eating slowly and conversing (without food in your mouth!) will give you time to think about what you are doing. This will also give you a chance to nonchalantly glance around the table to see how other people’s table manners are.
1. Use Common Sense when You Aren’t Sure of What to do
It’s amazing at how much common sense is woven into basic table manners. For instance, do you want to watch someone talk with a mouth full of food? If not, then don’t do it yourself. Do you enjoy the sound your knife makes against your fork when cutting meat? Then don’t allow the knife and fork to grind together. It’s simple things like this that are merely common sense for most people.
Which of these 7 ways to improve your table manners do you practice? Please share any additional tips for helping others have better table manners that you can think of.
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